That's the only sane way to distribute disto-neutral binary packages on Linux. Linux isn't Windows and so you should rely on your distro (or at least pre-built packages) to get updates for Firefox if you want to maintain a stable system. It's interesting that you mention nvidia and flash though, as those are two of the most notoriously difficult and error-prone things to install on linux. By contrast, if you choose to install a downloaded .tar.gz version of Firefox, the correct way to install/run it is:
Originally Posted by qwerty800
You can do that without damaging the integrity of your Linux install.
tar xvf firefox*.tar.gz
All distributions compile their own version of Firefox from source and linked against the distributions specific shared libraries. They may compile it with the default generic optimizations but, the very nature of distributions makes that a necessity. Also, kernel updates have little or no bearing on browser performance. The kernel settings that may play a role in browser benchmarks (i.e. Chip specific optimization, preemption level, timer Hz, default CPU frequency governor, etc) don't change on kernel updates within a given distro release.
Now, since there's only one package for every distribution in the world (And there's a lot of them!), The Fox is compiled of a generic way, without doing anything to get a better speed following the Kernel updates that will figure on your distro.
No, I don't. That's specifically why I'm asking. I'm looking for an "out of the box" comparison where the only variable is the operating system because I have no way to get those numbers myself. All that you have provided is conjecture, hearsay and a fundamental lack of understand of how Linux works.
Actually, Fifefox run faster on wine than the Linux native package, or even the package that comes with your distrribution!
I guess you already know who will be the winner?